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Understanding the basics of financial affidavits

When you file for divorce, you generally have the authority to choose the kind of approach you want to take in regards to your divorce process. If you and your spouse do not fundamentally disagree on matters of property division or child custody, you may be able to choose an inexpensive, straightforward, uncontested process. If you fundamentally disagree on important matters, you may be compelled to litigate your divorce. If you only have a few disagreements, you may be able to mediate or otherwise negotiate the majority of your divorce.

Unless you choose the most minimal process available and do not disagree with your spouse on any matters involving property division, you will likely be asked to disclose all manner of financial documents, account information and budgets. Without a clear and complete disclosure of assets, debts and other financial matters, you and your spouse will not be able to pursue a fair divorce settlement.

When disclosing your financial picture, you will likely be asked to submit a financial affidavit. This legal tool will provide you and your attorney with a clear format for disclosure. Your affidavit will be treated as an official document, so it is vitally important that you fill it out completely and truthfully. Failure to do so could land you in significant trouble with the court.

Your attorney will be able to explain the specifics of how to complete your financial affidavit and will be able to aid you in filling it out. Therefore, a financial affidavit is not a legal tool that should intimidate you. As long as you fill it out completely and truthfully, it should aid you in obtaining a fair settlement.

Source: Forbes, “The Importance Of Financial Affidavits In Divorce And A New, Cool Tool To Help You Get It Right,” Jeff Landers, Nov. 6, 2014

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